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The Economist - 17 декабря 2022

Скачать бесплатно журнал The Economist, 17 декабря 2022

Год выпуска: декабрь 2022

Автор: The Economist Newspaper and The Economist Group

Жанр: Экономика/Политика

Издательство: «The Economist Newspaper Ltd»

Формат: PDF (журнал на английском языке)

Качество: OCR

Количество страниц: 84

The winter war: Ukraine’s commanders assess their options

  • Ukraine’s chiefs warn of a looming Russian offensive and the critical months that lie ahead: leader, page 11.
  • We interview Volodymyr Zelensky and his top generals about the war’s crucial next phase, page 17.
  • Despite power cuts and blockades, Ukraine’s economy is coping, page 21.

The West’s growth problem

  • Why are the rich world’s politicians giving up on economic growth? Leader, page 12, and analysis, page 70.
  • Britain, a country that prided itself on stability has seemed to be in free-fall, page 29.
  • Its economic record since 2007 ranks near the bottom among peer countries, page 33.

France’s imploding nuclear industry

  • As the world turns back to nuclear power, it should heed the lessons from France: leader, page 13, and analysis, page 64.

Covid babies: the long-term harm

  • The pandemic’s indirect effects on small children may last a lifetime, page 62.

Reading Sally Rooney in China

  • The popularity of her novels there reflects important social trends, page 80.

The world this week Politics

  • The head of Ukraine’s armed forces, General Valery Zaluzhny, predicted that Vladimir Putin would mount a new offensive as early as January, or more likely in the spring. Russian forces continued to attack Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure with drones, many of which were shot down. America is reportedly close to approving the supply of Patriot anti-missile batteries to Kyiv. Ukrainian forces claimed to have struck a hotel in occupied Luhansk province which was being used as a headquarters by Wagner, a Russian mercenary group run by a friend of Mr Putin.

Cash for favours

  • The European Parliament removed Eva Kaili as a vicepresident after she was accused of accepting bribes from Qatar. Ms Kaili, a Socialist mep from Greece, denies wrongdoing, as does Qatar. Belgian authorities have charged four people with trousering €1.5m ($1.6m) in exchange for influencing laws that could be beneficial to the Gulf country. Several hundred thousand euros were found in a bag in a hotel room.
  • A Turkish court sentenced the mayor of Istanbul, Ekrem Imamoglu, to two-and-a-half years in prison and banned him from politics for insulting public officials in 2019. (He called some election officials “fools”.) Dissidents say the regime is trying to disqualify the most plausible challengers to Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who faces an election next year.
  • Ghana reached a preliminary deal with the imf for a $3bn bail-out. Before the loan can be released Ghana will have to convince its domestic and foreign creditors to, in effect, reduce the value of what it owes them by pausing interest payments and extending the time it has to repay them.
  • Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa’s president, survived a parliamentary vote that could have impeached him over allegations of misconduct. He was accused of failing to declare foreign currency, after $580,000 in cash was stolen from a farm he owns.
  • The Arab world cheered Morocco’s footballers, who reached the semi-finals of the World Cup in Qatar, the first African or Arab country to do so. They lost to France, which plays Argentina in the final on December 18th.
  • A state of emergency was declared in Peru after the impeachment of Pedro Castillo, a left-wing president who was ousted after he attempted a coup. Eight protesters have been killed. Dina Boluarte, Mr Castillo’s constitutional successor, tried to quell the unrest by announcing that a general election would be held in December 2023. Left-wing governments in Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia and Mexico expressed support for Mr Castillo.
  • Protesters who refuse to accept Jair Bolsonaro’s defeat in Brazil’s presidential election attacked federal police headquarters and burned cars and buses in the capital, BrasHia. The violence broke out after the supreme electoral court certified the victory of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Bolsonaristas have been camping outside army barracks in various cities, seeking military intervention, ever since Mr Bolsonaro lost the election.
  • New Zealand passed a law that bans anyone born after 2008 from buying cigarettes. The minimum age covered by the ban will steadily increase until cigarettes are outlawed.
  • A provisional tally of votes in Fiji’s election suggested that Frank Bainimarama will return to office as prime minister. The final result will be known in a few days. Mr Bainimarama first came to power after instigating a coup in 2006.
  • Troops from China and India clashed along part of their countries’ disputed border. This time the melee occurred in the Tawang sector of India’s north-east Arunachal Pradesh state, which borders Tibet. No one was killed. In 2020 a skirmish in the Galwan valley, located far to the west, claimed the lives of 20 Indian and four Chinese soldiers.
  • Covid-19 continued to surge across China. Many locals shared their stories of infection online. The government stopped counting most cases. Experts think this wave will peak in January. Some fear the country’s weak health system will be overwhelmed, and that many people will die.
  • Nurses in Britain (apart from Scotland) went on strike. Emergency and essential services were not affected.
  • Rishi Sunak, Britain’s prime minister, promised more resources to clear a backlog of applications for asylum, especially for those made by Albanians, who make up a large share of the migrants crossing from France illegally in small boats. An extra 400 staff will process claims to stay in Britain; new guidance to caseworkers will make it clear that Albania is a safe country.
  • The day after Mr Sunak’s announcement at least four migrants died trying to cross the English Channel. Almost 45,000 have made the journey this year.
  • A group of 7,000 irregular migrants crossed from Mexico into Texas. Experts predict a spike in such crossings into the United States now that Title 42 measures, which allowed the quick removal of illegal migrants at the border during the pandemic, are about to end. Many of those crossing the Rio Grande into Texas are Nicaraguans and Venezuelans.
  • Joe Biden signed a federal law to reaffirm that gay marriage is legal, after Congress passed it with some Republican support. This has no practical effect, since the Supreme Court legalised gay marriage throughout the United States seven years ago. It was passed to prevent a hypothetical future Supreme Court ruling returning the matter to the states. A large majority of Americans support keeping same-sex unions legal.
  • America’s National Ignition Facility carried out a fusion experiment that yielded more energy than was put in by the lasers that triggered the reaction. Headlines about limitless clean energy followed. But, alas, the calculations failed to include the rest of the energy required to run the apparatus, which was considerable.

Over the Moon

  • NASA’s Orion capsule splashed back down to Earth in the Pacific Ocean after its maiden voyage around the Moon. The mission, the first in the Artemis programme that will eventually return humans to the Moon, saw the Orion come within 80 miles (129km) of the lunar surface. At its farthest the capsule was 270,000 miles from Earth, breaking the record for the distance flown by a spacecraft designed to carry people, which was previously set during the Apollo 13 mission in 1970.

The world this week Business

  • America’s Justice Department charged Sam Bankman-Fried with fraud, money-laundering and violating campaignfinance laws in relation to the collapse of ftx, a crypto exchange. He was arrested in the Bahamas, where ftx is based. The department said that ftx’s “phenomenal downfall” was not a case of mismanagement, but instead one “of intentional fraud, plain and simple”. It alleges that Mr Bankman-Fried misappropriated ftx’s money for personal use, to repay debts owed by his hedge fund, Alameda, and to give millions to political candidates. It is a spectacular fall from grace for a man who had been lauded for his “effective altruism”.
  • Meanwhile the pressure increased on Binance, a rival crypto exchange to ftx, following a run of withdrawals from its business. Nansen, a blockchain analytics firm, said that Binance had seen net outflows of as much as $3bn over 24 hours.
  • It was a busy week for the Justice Department, which also announced that Danske Bank had pleaded guilty to defrauding American banks by lying about its “deficient antimoney laundering systems”. Danske, Denmark’s largest bank, processed suspect transactions worth $160bn from its branch in Estonia through American banks. Much of the money came from Russia. Danske is to pay $2bn in fines.
  • The Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate by half a percentage point, taking it to a target range of 4.25% to 4.5%. The half-point increase follows four consecutive rises of three-quarters of a percent age point. The central bank has eased the pace of tightening as it balances the need to tame soaring consumer prices with ensuring that the economy is not plunged into a recession.
  • November’s inflation figure helped steer the Fed’s decision. The annual rate, as measured by consumer prices, dropped to 7.1% from 7.7% in October, the lowest it has been all year, but still well above the average of 2.1% in the three years before covid-19. In Britain inflation fell to 10.7%, though the cost of alcohol in pubs and restaurants increased, just in time for Christmas.
  • The Securities and Exchange Commission voted to continue with plans that would introduce the biggest shake-up to America’s stockmarket rules in a generation. The most contentious proposal would compel brokers to send orders for buying and selling shares from small investors to an auction, an idea that is being resisted by Robinhood and other brokerages that focus on retail investors. The plans are open to public comment until at least March 31st.
  • Big tech pushed further into the world of high finance when Microsoft and the London Stock Exchange announced a strategic partnership in which the software giant will provide the bourse with cloud-computing services and take a 4% stake in the lse and a seat on its board. The lse stressed that the arrangement was about more than “simply lifting” assets to the cloud, and would see Microsoft help it build products and access markets.

Game over?

  • Microsoft’s deal was some good news for the company, following the decision of the Federal Trade Commission to try to block its $75bn acquisition of Activision Blizzard. The ftc thinks that Microsoft’s Xbox would stifle competition among rival video consoles for Activision’s blockbuster games, such as “Call of Duty”.
  • A bipartisan group of politicians in America’s Congress introduced a bill that would ban TikTok from the United States because of concerns that the app’s Chinese owner, ByteDance, leaks user data to the Chinese government. The Biden administration is currently looking at alternative ways to allow TikTok to operate. Donald Trump tried in effect to ban TikTok, but was rebuffed by the courts.
  • Amgen, a biotech company, struck a deal to buy Horizon Therapeutics for $28.3bn. Horizon’s assets include treatments for rare diseases and inflammatory conditions such as gout, which is associated with rising obesity levels.
  • The member states of the eu reached agreement on imposing a tax on the carbon-dioxide emissions of imported goods, such as steel, cement and fertiliser, the world’s first carbon border adjustment mechanism. Supporters say the scheme levels the playing field for European firms that are subject to eu emissions levies. But it is has angered the developing world, which emits relatively high levels of greenhouse gases.

Animal instincts

  • During the pandemic over a dozen apps offering speedy delivery of groceries were launched in America and Europe. The industry is now consolidating, the latest example being the takeover of Gorillas by Getir. Gorillas, based in Germany, now operates in just a handful of countries. Getir, a Turkish startup, has a wider reach, and with its acquisition of Gorillas it is now truly lord of the jungle.

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